Toys Toddlers Will Really Play With

Recently I stood in the center of Little Miss Toddlers room shaking my head. She had just dumped a bunch of toys everywhere and ran for the hills. It was a new game she named on her very own called “Make a Mess” What I could not figure out was with so many toys why would she just keep dumping everything and taking off. Then a light came on.

There were just too many toys.

Like way too many. Some really useless, noise making, no imagination needed toys. It was time to sort, declutter and put away some of these things. So Little Miss Toddler and I worked on that over last weekend. The list I am giving you is essentially what she is left with now in her room.

Toys your toddler will really play with and love that foster learning

Then after things were gone and what was left was put away Little Miss Toddler did something she had not done in a long time.

She sat at her table and colored, then she put a puzzle together…She played with her toys.

Less IS more.

This is our Most LOVED by Little Miss Toddler Toy List

  • Cars and trucks
  • Blocks (Wooden and plastic interlocking types)
  • Baby dolls
  • Something to push around such as a doll stroller or a shopping cart
  • Kitchen set, dishes and pretend food
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Books
  • Crayons, coloring book and a scribble pad
  • Dress up clothes simple things to put on such as funny hats, sunglasses and the like.
  • A play set such as a doll house, garage, or castle that includes people, cars, and animals
  • Stacking cups
  • A shape sorting toy
  • A ride on toy or trike
  • A child size table and chairs
  • Ball
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Non-toxic or homemade paints
  • A bin for playing with water, rice, beans or other sensory items
  • Barbies just because our little REALLY loves them

Toddler plays with a bin of water out on the deck

Often times the most simple things provide hours of fun for a young child. Water play is an excellent example of this.

Open-ended toys that allow imagination to take over are most often the best choices.

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Love Jennifer






Moon Sand Flour and Oil Version Taste Safe and Homemade

Homemade Moon Sand this is messy play at its finest.

I chose the flour and vegetable oil combination because Little Miss Toddler will not keep things like this out of her mouth. We did it on the kitchen floor.Clean up involved sweeping up and mopping really well (Think oil residue). Next time I would put an old sheep or newspaper down for easier cleanup or simply do it outside.

This homemade Moon Sand or as some call it Cloud Dough is soft, molds together well and it is wonderful sensory play for even a pretty young child. Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Homemade Moon Sand finding the magic in the mess

What you need is simple and most everyone has it on hand. 

  • 8 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • A few drops food coloring if you like but not needed. (We skipped this)

In a large bin just mix it all together really well. Done and done.

We tossed in some kitchen scoops, spoons and the like. She had a blast.


Maybe Moon Sand is not what you intended to find or wish to make today? How about some play dough recipes?


Homemade Cloud Dough

Toddler Playing With Home made Moon Sand

Toddler sensory Play

Sensory Bin Flour and Oil

Messy Play

Toddler playing with cloud dough and scoops

If you enjoyed this blog post with me and Little Miss Toddler Please be sure to subscribe below.  Thanks for reading! 🙂


Love Jennifer


Eight Solutions For Bored Children.

 Do you have some bored children at home? We have some fun yet simple activity ideas for you. 

eight solutions for bored children

  1. Make Play-Doh

Pretty simple stuff almost everyone has on hand.

Salt Dough

2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

Play Dough

Mix all the ingredients together then knead it into a ball.  If the dough is too dry add a tiny bit of water. If the dough is too wet add a small amount of flour and knead it in well. This homemade play dough can be played with or air-dried and painted.


2. Pick an object such as a small ball or toy and take turns hiding it around the house in different places My kids always had fun doing this. I would always get really creative with my hiding. They thought it was so funny when I would hide a purple ball on a blanket almost the same color and they would keep walking right by it.


3. Play an old school game from back in your childhood with them such as Red Rover, Mother May I, or Red Light Green Light alternatively,  if you are inside Go Fish, Old Maid or war.


4. Write the start a story for them on paper and have them finish it and illustrate it.


5. Look up how to make a piñata and make one together. It can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

Minnie Pinata

6. Learn a new recipe together or hand down a family recipe and really let them help prepare it. One of my favorite memories was watching my son learn how to make the bread. I have been making bread for over twenty years. I taught him to bake bread just as I was taught by my own mother.


7. Take them outside or to a park. Outdoor play is a great way to burn off excess energy.


8. Search coloring pages, print them and sit down and color with them. My children have always loved this.


Hello Kids Coloring Pages

Coloring Pages for Girls

Coloring Pages for Boys


This post was inspired by  Mama Kats Writer’s Workshop . Click the image below to join.


Mama’s Losin’ It

The Messier The Merrier

I posted this photo to my Facebook account the other day. Really didn’t think to much of it until a few moms mentioned how they hate stickers. It got me thinking about how this time around in raising my granddaughter things are different than when I had my eight children in tow.

Back then, I hated stickers. I really didn’t care much for most messy play unless it took place out side. When there was messy place I would often hover watching the clock until it had ticked long enough that I could swoop in a clean at least some portion of the said mess up.

As an older parent I see messy play for what it is… learning. She is peeling the stickers from the page. Something a week or so ago she would beg me to do for her. Her hand eye coordination is far improved. She can do it her self now. Yes, she stuck them to my table and it is going to require some peeling and a hot wet hand towel placed over them. But for fifteen minutes she was still and happy while I did dishes. She will also learn to help clean her messes and for the most part she is happy to sit and help because she has also figured out if she chooses not to help there will be no more sticker play for some time. So she is a mess maker and most often times a willing helper to clean her messes up.

Children need to make messes. They need to explore the world hands on. They need to paint and color. Splash and stomp in puddles, They need to feel play doh between their tiny fingers with out being told no, no, no, stop making a mess. Because, messes clean but you can not go backwards in life and relive what you lost in avoiding these messes that are dripping with laughter  and curiosity.I love seeing her face light up when she figures out a task for her self for that very first time. When she plays with some new messy thing and she is right in there focused and busy. I love seeing her make huge gains in language as she learns new words that describe what she is feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting and experiencing.

Really watch your child the next time they are knee deep in mud serving you plates of mud cakes and a side of dirt soup. Watch as they pour, scoop, splash and splatter. Then remind your self that this is childhood and they are washable. While your at it…Join in.


Homemade Play Dough Recipes

Make your own homemade play dough!

Edible Playdough

1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1 C powdered milk

Just throw it all together and mush it up with your hands until it’s fairly smooth. The oils from the peanut butter will keep it from sticking to the table and the kids’ hands.

Green play dough

Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Mix well until it forms a ball. Knead add food coloring if desired. If sticky add some flour and if too dry add a small amount of water.

Play dough 2

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all ingredients (add food coloring last). Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan, let cool slightly, and knead until blended and smooth. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.

Pink Glittery Play Dough

Kool-Aid Dough

Flour 3 cups
Salt 1 1/2 cups
Water 3 cups
Vegetable Oil 2 TB.
Cream of tartar 1 TB.
unsweetened “Kool-Aid” 1 pkg.

Mix ALL of the ingredients in a large saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat, until the dough, comes away
from the edges of the pan and it becomes difficult to move the spoon. Remove from heat. Cool until it can be handled.
Place on counter or wax paper knead 3-4 times.
Store in an airtight container.

Fairy Play-Doh (glitter)

You Need
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring gel (this will make the colors more vibrant)

Mix all ingredients with the exception of the glitter in a sauce pan well heat stirring the mix constantly until it forms a ball remove at once. Add the glitter and knead until smooth and uniform. Store in a tight sealing container. This mix stores at room temperature.

Rubber Dough

A silly fun texture

You will need
2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

Mix everything into a sauce pan. Boil over medium heat until the mix is thick. Plop onto a plate cool and play.


Keep it, Clay

This mixture dries VERY hard great for making jewelry like beads etc..

1 (1-pound) box baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cold water
Food coloring (Gel is best or leave it plain and paint later)

Mix baking soda and cornstarch together then add water. Cook and stir over low heat until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove the dough from the heat and cover with damp towel until it is cool enough to handle. Use for play dough or jewelry shaping or roll it out and cut with a cookie cutter to make decorations.

Store in an airtight container
Other types of dough and putty

Cinnamon Dough

1 Cup Applesauce
1 Cup Cinnamon
Mix well if sticky add more cinnamon if too dry add more applesauce …knead well. Cut with cookie cutters to make ornaments let air dry. These may be painted.

Flubber Fun

You will need two bowls
In bowl 1 mix
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup white glue
Food coloring

In bowl 2 mix
2 tsp borax
1/2 a cup warm water

Mix bowl 1 well, Mix bowl two well…Now let the magic begin! pour bowl 1 into bowl two…No need to mix just reach on in and grab your it for 3 minutes.

Sawdust Clay

Great for making things and drying to paint

You will need.
Fine grit sand paper
A breezy warm spot
1 cup fine sawdust
1/2 cup flour

Mix sawdust and flour well then begin to add water a small amount at a time until the mix is of clay consistency. If it becomes too wet add more flour and if it becomes too crumbly add more water and a small amount of flour.
Shape into whatever you desire, dry for 24-48 hours sand and paint with acrylic or tempera paints (Tempera is best for young children but acrylic will cover the best)

Play Dough Ideas

-We use Christmas cookie cutters to cut shapes and then we use a straw to make a hole at the top. Let dry then string a ribbon through it and “voila” a Christmas tree ornament. For those of you with a sense of “pizzazz” glue on glitter beads or little fancy ribbons to add flair to your decorations. Have fun! Submitted by: Candace

-Roll into ropes and make the letters of the alphabet together, numbers too!

-Roll into a flat circle and let the child use cookie cutters to cut shapes.

-Make beads, string them on floss and let dry into a necklace.

-Make a collection of toy dishes.

-Make sculptures of your family.

-Make Noah’s ark and his animals

-Press your child’s hand into the dough and let dry forever to capture their small hand print.

-Have a play dough birthday party…set out tables with play dough and different play dough activities, hold contests such as the best play dough birthday cake ect…it is sure to keep the kids busy for a long time! This is great for a party with rainbow colors for a theme.

What do you do with your play dough? Send your ideas to


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